Friday, December 05, 2008

Amanpour Screams Bloody Murder... for some.

I guess not so bloody for others? CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour is know for her hard-hitting, ruthless style of journalism. She has covered some of the toughest stories CNN dares to tackle. It only makes sense that she take on the biggest human crisis known to man: Genocide. Tomorrow, CNN will broadcast her latest, Scream Bloody Murder of which Asbarez Daily Newspaper obtained a press screener and reports that In the almost 90-minute press screener, the Armenian Genocide was mentioned for about 45 seconds as an anecdotal reference to Lemkin's struggle for human justice. Using photographs now familiar to all Armenians and possibly obtained from Armin T. Wegner Collection, Amanpour illustrates the horror of the Armenian Genocide but does not delve into it in as in-depth and compelling manner as she does the other instances of Genocide. She also spoke directly with The Armenian Reporter, saying "... The fact that Turkey still denies it officially is a problem. We didn't find it so in our work, but it is an issue I know, especially for Armenia. We actually didn't focus entirely on the Armenian Genocide. The way we focused on it was to use it as this amazing opportunity to show where the word came from and what it actually infers; the Armenian Genocide infers to the words of Raphael Lemkin and that was incredibly important for us to highlight that. We focused a lot on the events that I've covered during my lifetime." I'm preparing to watch the program for myself, but given this much prior information, I have to ask. If you are going to cover the epidemic of genocide, starting with the campaign to criminalize genocide, continue to show the struggle so many have endured to (as you titled your program) "SCREAM BLOODY MURDER" while the world turned a deaf ear only to allow genocide to continue around the world, shouldn't you be talking about the biggest cover up of genocide, the very one which inspired Lemkin to coin the word, the very one which also inspired Adolf Hitler to follow through with the Holocaust? Afterall, it's this denial that scares CNN from ever using the word "Genocide" in their reporting on related matters. Thus, I turned my question on CNN. They are allowing the public to post questions in their ireport page prior to the program, of which apparently she will respond to during the show. Here's what I had to say:
Hi, My name is Arsineh Khachikian. I was born and raised in Washington, DC and I currently live in Armenia, the homeland of my ancestors. My grandfather was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, as are the grandparents of most Armenians across the globe. In fact, few of my friends have a family tree that extends beyond 3 generations. My question is this. What is the extent of research done by media outlets, including CNN, on the facts of genocide when covering a related story. In the case of the Armenian Genocide (as we saw in the coverage of the assassination of Turkish-Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink, as well as last year's controversial resolution passed in the House Foreign Affairs committee recognizing the Armenian Genocide), we rarely hear the genocide presented as a historical fact, rather as the "alleged" genocide, or "what Armenians say was genocide." How is that possible when a majority of historians worldwide site the Armenian genocide as a fact, providing amply evidence to support their argument. Isn't it true that by not presenting these facts, you are opening a forum for denial, which is the precedent that encourages other nations to follow the example, as Hitler followed Turkey's example when he said, "Afterall, who remembers the annihilation of the Armenians." Later the Hutus in Rwanda, and now Sudan continue to follow the same example. My second question is this. What do you believe to be the media's role in post-genocide story coverage, as pertaining to the denial campaigns by the perpetrator, which is widely considered to be the continuation of genocide committed. Thank you for very important program on this global epidemic.
You can find more interesting posted questions here.

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